Behavior of Portland flasher turns menacing

PORTLAND — Some joggers in prosperous neighborhoods of north Portland say that at first they didn't even bother calling the police about the pantsless man exposing himself during their predawn runs. They brushed it off as another example of Portland weird.

But lately, the flasher's behavior has turned more menacing. He's turned up as often as three times a week, in at least one case accosting the same runner twice on the same jog. He's run alongside women. And he's begun exposing himself to children on their way home from school.

In the afternoons, he has appeared in a T-shirt and boxer shorts. He's shouted at children and then, when they looked, exposed himself.

People from the neighborhoods — Alameda, Sabin, Irvington, Grant Park and Beaumont-Wilshire — tell The Oregonian they're running in groups, carrying flashlights and pepper spray, and telling children to walk home from school with a group and stay in the front yard.

There aren't any known reports of the flasher between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., so neighbors assume he has a job. And because he's been able to avoid capture, they suspect he lives near the neighborhoods.

“It started off as another ‘Oh, Portland is so weird’ thing,” said Erin Thomas, who encountered the flasher recently. “But it got eerier as time went on, as it became clear that he has a pattern and that he's very calculating.”

Police haven't said much about their efforts. One neighborhood leader said there's fear that cornering the flasher could trigger something.

“The police emphasized that they just don't know what they're dealing with right now, and they're cautioning us to be aware of that,” said Al Ellis, president of the Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association.

The flasher is described as a white man in his 30s or 40s, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium or heavy build. Some women said he lacks the lean build and name-brand gear of a typical predawn Portland jogger.


Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

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